What You Need to Know About Transferring to Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center
Are You Looking For A New Provider?
Nikole: We're here this morning with Patty from Bloomin' Babies Birth Center to discuss the subject of finding a new provider.
If you are pregnant now and you're looking for a new provider, then we want to tell you some of the reasons why you might consider Bloomin' Babies and how to transfer to Bloomin' Babies, what the cutoff date is, and what you need to know before you come.
Nikole: Why do people choose to transfer to Bloomin' Babies Birth Center?
Patty: Well I think it's not just transferring to us, it's a matter of why would a woman choose to transfer at all from any provider.
There are some thoughts out there that that's just a terrible thing, that once you make that commitment to that provider you just have to stick with them the whole way. It's really not necessary.
There have been lots of mamas who have gotten part way through their pregnancy and felt like they weren't communicating really well with their provider.
They were looking for someone or someplace where they felt more comfortable with how things are done or how they're treated and that type of thing.
There are also other reasons why mamas choose to transfer, like we get several people who are moving, or new to the area. You don't have a choice then.
It happened to me with my third pregnancy, I had to transfer halfway through, and it is difficult in some ways, especially if you are with someone you really like, to have to do that, but sometimes life happens and you just have to do what you have to do.
I think the important thing is to try to remember that you're the one, this is your pregnancy. It's not anybody else's pregnancy, it's not your provider's pregnancy, so if you don't feel like it is going the way you envisioned, then maybe you need to think about changing providers.
These are some of the main reasons for mamas to transfer, they just have decided that maybe their philosophy for how they see their pregnancy going is different than what their provider seems to be presenting to them.
Why Are All Of Your Appointments 1-Hour Long?
Nikole: Sometimes mamas have to wait so long to just see their provider and then they get like 15 minutes with their provider. That's a part of the communication challenges sometimes, isn't it?
Patty: Right. That's one reason why all of our appointments we allow an hour.
I understand that a lot of offices just can't do that, but we can.
It doesn't mean that we use an hour every time we have an appointment, we just allow that time so that, should we in the middle of an appointment come across something that needs more discussion or exploration, we have that time and we're not having to stand with our hand on the doorknob saying, "Any questions? Okay, bye."
We feel like the mamas that come to us are getting some really good care that is educational, that is something that you can hold onto through the whole pregnancy rather than feeling like you're just a number in another turnstile going around and around.
Nikole: Education is also a big part.
If a mama doesn't feel like they have enough information or they want more, a part of that communication component that we make sure when they're here is that they're getting educated on what's going on in their bodies and the process that they're going to be going through.
what are some of the things that I need to do if I’m considering transferring?
Patty: Just like any of our other mamas who start with us from the very beginning, everyone has to go through a tour and orientation.
I know that sounds kind of strange, no other OB's that I know of, or midwives, do that sort of thing, but because we're an out-of-hospital facility, we do things differently.
We want to make sure that anyone who comes here understands that.
That's what the tour and orientation is about.
They have to understand we're geared towards natural childbirth, we're not geared towards epidurals.
If you really think you're going to want an epidural, we aren't the place for you.
They have to do the tour and orientation and it doesn't take long, it takes maybe 45-minutes to an hour and it's free, there's no charge or anything like that.
It's also a way for you to meet at least one of the midwives that is here so you can actually meet them and ask questions if you have questions specifically of the midwife.
Sometimes we do the tour and orientations and sometimes it's our nurse Nona who does them.
We're around all the time, there's always one of us here. If you really want to speak directly with one of the midwives, that's a possibility as well.
Nikole: It's also a good time to bring along people who need information about the birth center as well, right?
Patty: Right. We really want all of our mamas to not only come because they feel they would be comfortable here, but we want their significant others to be here as well.
They need to see what we're all about, what we do, what makes us different, and be comfortable with that decision, because mamas going through labor, especially natural birth, oftentimes feel like maybe they can't do it, "I can't do it."
We hear that a lot, but if you have a good support system, then they're going to support you and keep telling you, "Yes you can. Yes you can."
Versus if someone doesn't feel like this is a good place for them to be, they tend to undermine the self-confidence that's really needed for labor.
We want everybody onboard.
We've even had grandparents come in and tour and see what we're all about, because they felt a little nervous.
We're a different option and it's not as well known as even home birth, we understand that people need to come in and see what we're about so that they feel comfortable being here, because that's really important for the mama.
What are some of the guidelines about when I can transfer, what Does that look like?
Patty: Honestly we very rarely turn someone away.
We've transferred people in as late as 37 weeks.
It's not ideal and we know that and we talk about that, because honestly one of the things that we do and what makes us different is that by being with you longer through your pregnancy, you get to know us, we get to know you, and the trust factor tends to be a little stronger when you've had a relationship with us longer than three weeks.
But we still will accept you as long as you've been getting prenatal care.
That's an important part of any pregnancy and once in a while we'll have somebody show up that's not had any prenatal care and it's very late in the pregnancy.
That's a high-risk pregnancy, it's not appropriate for a birth center birth.
That's kind of our main goal, as long as you've had good prenatal care, we will accept you if you feel that this is where you'd like to be.
After you do the tour and orientation, if you decided yes this is where you would like to have your baby, we have a transfer records sheet.
It's very simple.
It just says I agree to have my records transferred from my current provider to here.
We fax it to them and then get your records from them within a couple of days usually.
If it is late in the pregnancy, we can go through them, those records, and make sure that they've had all the lab work that we expect here and that everything seems to be going well.
Can I Transfer If I Have A Low Risk Pregnancy?
Patty: Sure. We will look over your records before we actually have our first visit with you.
That's basically the whole thing.
It's not a huge process, it's not very difficult, and if you're concerned about that, you shouldn't be because it really isn't that big of a deal.
What About Insurance? How Does it Work at the Birth Center?
We do accept most insurances and we do accept Medicaid, and generally speaking what happens, and we do this when people move away from us, insurance companies will pay generally a set fee for all of your pregnancy care.
If you have to transfer for any reason, and this includes transfer to the hospital, in case your risk level changes and we need to transfer you to the hospital, our billing company looks and sees how many visits have been made up to that point and you are only charged that amount.
If you are in labor and we transfer you, depending on how long you've been here at the birth center, it's kind of an hourly rate.
You will still get charged a certain amount for the facility cost, because we still have to clean up and pay our people who have been here, but the main facility cost then transfers to the hospital and they take care of that.
If I Am in Labor and Get Transferred to the Hospital Can My Midwife Come?
We all have privileges at the hospital now.
The transfer is something that we can continue to manage at the hospital, we will still get the professional fee versus a doctor getting the professional fee at the hospital.
What Does Having Privileges At the Hospital Mean?
Patty: We are very happy to be able to offer our mamas this, that all three of the midwives that work here have hospital privileges at St. Mary's.
Occasionally a transfer is needed because not every mama who starts out low risk ends up low risk at the end, and that's our job is to keep evaluating them throughout their pregnancy to make sure they're still appropriate for a birth center birth.
If that changes, we will accompany them to the hospital.
If I Am Transferred to the Hospital in the Middle of Labor Then What Happens...
Patty: Well then we get you to the hospital, and depending on what the situation is, most of the transfers that we do are not emergencies.
We all get in our cars and drive up to the hospital just like if you had been laboring at home and decided okay it's time, I need to go to the hospital.
If it's an emergency, we will call EMS, but that doesn't happen very often.
Then we meet you up at the hospital and we continue your care there.
We may have to do some type of consultation with the Obstetrician that's on call up there, but otherwise we just continue your care up there.
It's nice for continuity of care that we aren't having to hand you off to someone else.
Will My Midwife Communicate My Wishes If I Do Get Transferred to the Hospital While in Labor?
Patty: That's right. Yep.
What Do I Do If I Don’t Feel Like I Am With the Right Provider?
Patty: If you don't feel like you're with the right provider, don't be afraid to change.
It's not as onerous as it sounds and it's not even that unusual.
I know sometimes mamas will go, "I'm afraid to tell them."
Well you don't have to tell them if you don't want to.
You just sign the papers and honestly many of our docs are so busy that they may not even notice that you're not there.
I hate to say that, but that's a possibility.
So don't be afraid to do it.
I'm a perfect example.
When I was first pregnant, and this has been years ago obviously, I went to a practice that had midwives working there, and I thought I just had to go there and I would get a midwife.
It turned out I didn't.
I ended up with one of the obstetricians, and the whole time I'm thinking, "Gee, I really wish I could've had a midwife."
And all I would have had to do was open my mouth and say, "You know, I'd really like to transfer my care to the midwives instead of the OB."
As it turned out, I gave birth.
It was no big deal and of course it was the doctor I liked the least, but you know that's the way life is.
But with my second pregnancy I knew the ropes and I knew that I had to ask specifically for the midwife practice, and my second one was delivered by a midwife, or caught by a midwife, and I was very happy with that.
It's not that unusual.